This is a line from Steve Jobs’s commencement address at Stanford, at the height of his career and a few short years before his death.
It’s an exception in the pantheon of great quotes, because it doesn’t ask you to strive for anything. It doesn’t ask you to push yourself, or set ambitious goals, or stare introspectively into a mirror, or do anything else remotely inspirational.
All it asks of you is to remain. Remain hungry, remain foolish. But it does so with conviction and certainty.
Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
Stay hungry — strive not because of all the solutions we’ve found, but because of all the problems still worth solving, and the lives worth touching in the process.
Stay foolish — confront each problem anew, for what it is, rather than the shadow it casts. And, as he elaborated, pursue what matters to you, until the dots connect themselves.
Every time I hear this speech, I’m struck by the deceptive innocence of these words. I’m reminded of the value of forgetting the accomplishments and errors past, to find direction by looking forward, towards what I care about. I’m reminded to be guided by horizons rather than milestones.
There’s nothing we need to change to follow suit.
Just, stay. And don’t let yourself forget in the rush of each day whistling by.
This year is the tenth anniversary of the best-selling product in the history of Apple.
And the history of the world.
A computer company, making a cell phone.
What a foolish idea.
And how so incredibly many hungry minds it’s inspired.
And on one of the billions of supercomputers cast into the world since, I write to remind myself.
Stay hungry, stay foolish.
If you enjoyed this piece, you might also enjoy my next post, Lessons from Google I/O and SPAN: getting more out of industry events.
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